It might still sound like science fiction, but it seems Project Ara is still on course for an early 2015 release. In a blog post posted earlier today, Phonebloks talks about how the Google ATAP team is gearing up to unveil the first fully functional Ara prototype smartphone — along with the release of a new Project Ara MDK — during their 2nd developers conference in December.
What’s more is because Android isn’t designed to support dynamic hardware configurations, Project Ara is teaming up with Linaro to have the device run on a modified version of Android L, Google’s next major Android release expected to launch later this year (October is the date being whispered around the web). The modified Android version will allow for users to quickly and easily hot swap most of the Ara modules — with the exception of the CPU and display — without having to first power down the device. This includes camera modules, battery modules, and more.
With partners like Toshiba, Foxconn, and more, all the modules will be sold in an online store or “Modular Marketplace” similar to the Google Play Store, and will need to be certified before being available to consumers.
We expect to learn much more during the devcon where we expect to see various modules and features never before seen on a smartphone. Pretty exciting stuff! If you’re curious to learn more, you can check out Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko’s talk during this year’s Linaro Connect USA 2014 event (starts at the 44:10 mark).